Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by EU regulation

  • EC Council Regulation No. 2092/91
    • Annex VII. Maximum numbers of animals per ha
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Free range conditions, access - US NOP 2002 There no provisions for maximum number of animals per ha. EU Regulation 2092/91 specifies the minimum surface areas indoors and outdoors and other characteristics of housing in the different species and types of production. Both US and EU require outdoor access for any animals. US requires in addition pasture for ruminants and does not allow derogations. EU requires pasture for herbivores 'wherever conditions allow'. EU waves outdoor access for herbivores in winter under certain conditions. There was no justification available.
Free range conditions, area, cattle - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 Cattle must be allowed fresh forage throughout the grazing season with a specified minimum total grazing area. Buffer feeding of grazing cattle is permitted. Soil Association standards state that cattle must be allowed fresh forage throughout the grazing season with a minimum total grazing area of 0.27 hectares per cow per season and that buffer feeding is permitted. Soil Association Organic Standards Paragraphs 11.3.3 and 11.3.4. Soil Association standards are more specific than the EU Regulation 2092/91 with regards to minimum grazing areas for cattle. EU Regulation only states that herbivores must have access to pasture whenever conditions allow and that outdoor pasture must be of sufficiently low stocking density to prevent poaching and overgrazing without giving a minimum figure for the grazing area per cow/season. The Soil Association sets a minimum grazing area for cows, taking account of UK organic grassland productivity, to help ensure the following: that soil condition and grassland habitats are conserved; that the cattle have an adequate ranging area to optimise their health and welfare; that an adequate proportion of their forage during the grazing season is grazed, not conserved; and that the risk of water pollution is minimised.
Free range conditions, stocking rate - US NOP 2002 US has no provisions for stocking densities. EU Regulation 2092/91 defines the maximum stocking density per class or species and ha. No justification was available.
Livestock housing and free range conditions, area, pigs - NL Skal Standards 2005
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Skal has set specific norms for sows and pigs (Rule Text: 2.6 article 7 and 8): A sufficient amount of maternity stables, a minimum of 4.4 m² per sow space to lie down in, a total minimum space of 7.2 m² per sow and 40 m² of unpaved outdoor area per sow is required. Indoors the surface area per pig must be 0.6 m². Per 20 kg pig 0.1 m² extra outdoor area is required.
Skal has set more detailed norms for sows and pigs, whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 has not regulated these norms in detail. Annex VIII in the regulation only mentions 7.5 m2 per sow and 2.5 m2 unpaved outdoor area. All animals need enough space and outdoor areas for natural behaviour.
Livestock housing and free range conditions, area, poultry, NL Skal Standards
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Skal has defined the norms for turkeys (Rule text: 2.11 article 3, 4, 5 and 6): Turkey pullets must have access to 10 m² outdoor areas with shrubs and trees, during the daylight, when they are 8 weeks old, except from winter days in case of sickness. A maximum of 25 kg of animal per m² is allowed at any age. In the stable 50% of the surface must be available for scratching. Animals must have access to perches or elevations with a minimum length of 20 cm per animal. The stable must have openings to the pasture with a total length of 4 meter per 100 m² stable surface evenly distributed over the sides of the stable.
Stable and detailed outdoor requierements for turkeys are not defined in EU Regulation 2092/91 with the exception of the minimum outdoor area of Annex VIII (10 m² per head). All animals need enough space and outdoor areas for natural behaviour.
Livestock housing and free range conditions, general requirements, poultry - NL Skal Standards 2005
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SKAL has set norms for poultry, concerning extension, space per animal, equipment, stocking rates. SKAL Rule Text: 2.4 article 1,2,3,4, 6 and 16: 8 week old hens must go outside, unless winter temperatures, with enough room to range freely and take a sandbath (2.5 m² per chicken). Only 7 young hens per m² stable are allowed. Shrubs and trees have to be present in the outdoor area. Per m² stable only 5 nests are allowed. 50% must be free-range area with dry bedding. Each hen must have 20 cm of perch. 1 nest per 6 hens must be available.
SKAL standards are more detailled compared to EU Regulation 2092/91. SKAL requires shrubs and trees to be present in the outdoor area and has further restrictions on animals per m² stable, on nests and perch space. EU is more general on open air runs (not specified for poultry) and is defining only the animlas per m² indoors and outdoors. All animals need enough space and outdoor areas for natural behaviour.
Livestock housing and free range conditions, general requirements, poultry - NL Skal Standards 2005
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SKAL has set specific norms for meat pullets. see SKAL Rule Text: 2.5 article 2 and 3: Pullets must have 1,5 m² per pullet outdoor area. 50% of the outdoor area must be covered with shrubs and trees. The total number of animals allowed per m² is 28 till the age of 2 weeks, 14 till the age of 6 weeks, and 7 starting from the age of 6 weeks.
SKAL standards are more detailled compared to EU Regulation 2092/91. SKAL requires shrubs and trees to be present in the outdoor area and is grading the maximum number of animals per m² depending on the age of the animals. All animals need enough space and outdoor areas for natural behaviour.
Livestock housing and free range conditions, stocking rate, minimum - Demeter International 2005
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The stocking rate is determined by the possibilities for fodder production, as dictated by climate and the local conditions. Soil fertility should be maintained and developed by keeping animals and applying their manure. The minimum stocking rate has to be defined by the certification organisation in each country. The maximum stocking rate may not exceed 2.0 livestock units/ha, corresponding to a maximum of 1.4 manure units/ha, if feed is brought in. (DI production standards, 5.2. Stocking rate)
Compared to the EU Regulation 2092/91, the DI standards define not only a maximum but also a minimum stocking rate. Furthermore, the maximum stocking rate as defined by Demeter Interantioal is lower than the one indicated in the EU Regulation. Demeter farms must incorporate livestock, but they must be kept and fed in accordance with the given conditions of the site.
Livestock housing and free range conditions, stocking rate, ruminants - NL Skal Standards 2005
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he amount of space in a stable and minimum days on pasture for dairy sheep, goat and cows is defined. SKAL Rule Text: 2.3 article 4: dairy sheep need 1.5 m² per animal in a stable (indoor) and 2 m² when they have lambs. Goats need 1.8 m² per animal and 1 m² outdoor area
SKAL has set norms for the housing of dairy cattle, which require more space per animal than given by the EU Regulation 2092/91 annex VIII. (1.85 m² per sheep/goat with 1 lamb indoor). The amount of space needed per animal should be large enough.
Manure fertilizers, export - SI Rules 2003
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SI Rules 2003 foresee a possibility of co-operation of an organic holding with other holdings in order to spread surplus manure. Further there are no specific demands related to the storage facilities for livestock manure in SI Rules.
SI Rules state that organic-production holdings may establish co-operation with other agricultural holdings with the intention of providing areas for the use of organic fertilizers, are more specific whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 only speaks about establishing such co-operation with the intention of spreading surplus manure from organic production (EU Regulation Annex I. B 7.). SI Rules do not describe the demands related to storage facilities for livestock manure as EU regulation does in Annex I. B 7.6.-7.7. Re storage facilities: The requirements for manure storage being identical to those in EU Regulation 2092/91 Annex I. B 7.6.-7.7. are in Slovenia a part of other national regulations.
Manure fertilizers, intensity - CH Regulation/Ordinance 2005
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The amount of nutrient input must be justified by soil quality and crop requirements: evidence must be provided on the levels of nutrients used on the farm. In no case should rate of nutrient application exceed 2.5 LSU/ha.
Limits for fertilizer use are restricted not only for farmyard manure, but for the combination of all fertilizers used on the farm. Levels must not exceed the needs of the individual crops. The EU Regulation 2092/91 limits farmyard manure and commercial nutrients to a maximum of 170kg/ha, but does not differentiate individual needs of the crops. In order to avoid excessive use of fertilizers and successive contamination of the environment by leached nutrients, Swiss Ordinance limits the nutrient input to the effective levels required by the respective crops.
Manure fertilizers, stocking rate - DE Bioland Standards 2005
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The maximum stocking density for animals is limited to the equivalent of 1.4 animal unit/ha, which corresponds to 112 kgN/ha and 98 kg P2O5/ha. (Bioland production standards, 4.4 Animal Density and Purchase of Additional Feedstuffs, 4.4.1 General; Bioland production standards, 10.3 Calculation of Animal Stock per Hectare)
The BIOLAND standard is more restrictive. The maximum animal stocking density per ha is lower in terms of kg N/ha than that allowed by the EU Regulation 2092/91 (170 kg N/ha). However both numbers are interpreted to be equivalent of two cows by the EU Regulation as well as by the BIOLAND Association. In fact the stocking density for cattle is the same, but it is lower for laying hens (140 instead of 230 animals/ha), broilers (280 instead of 580 animals/ha) and fattening pigs (10 instead of 14 animals/ha). The animal production must be adapted to the conditions of the site (capacitiy to produce animal feed and to use animal manure on the land).
Manure fertilizers, stocking rate - DE Naturland 2005
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The maximum stocking density for a NATURLAND farm is calculated by the equivalent of 1,4 dung units (equivalent to 112 kg N/ha and 98 kg P2O5/ha). (NL standards on production, Part B.II. Livestock production and Appendix 4)
The NATURLAND standard is more restrictive. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 the maximum stocking rate is an equivalent of 170 kg N/ha (approx. 2.9 du/ha). To limit the input of nitrogen.